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Chen shaoxiong photo cropped

Chen Shaoxiong 陈劭雄

post Contributor Artist Website

Chen Shaoxiong was born in Shantou, Guangdong province, China in 1962 and lived and worked in Beijing until his death in 2016. Chen graduated from the Print Department at Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts in 1984. Chen worked both independently and as a member of two artist collectives, “Project without Space” and “Xijing Men.” In 2007 Chen founded “Xijing Men” with Tsuyoshi Ozawa and Gim Hongsok, while in 1990 he was a founding member of the Big Tail Elephant Group.

The Big Tail Elephant Group is an artist collective founded in 1990 by Lin Yilin, Chen Shaoxiong, and Liang Juhui and later joined by Xu Tan. The group formed in Guangzhou, China, with an interest in urban development and the rapid transformation of modern cities, Guangzhou being among the earliest cities in China to undergo this shift.

In 2000 and 2006 Chen was the recipient of the Chinese Contemporary Art Award. In 2013 Chen was a Bellagio Creative Arts Fellow, where he developed works combining themes of contemporary art forms, social movements, and collective action.

Chen first exhibited work with Big Tail Elephant in 1991 at the Guangzhou No.1 Worker's Palace, Guangzhou, China, and regularly continued to show work with the collective through the 2000s. Chen participated in many group exhibitions including several biennials and triennials. Select group exhibitions include Another Long March: Chinese Conceptual Art (1997), Breda, The Netherlands; Big Tail Elephant (1998) at Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Transmediale '98, 11th Video Festival (1998) at Podewil, Berlin; 16th World-Wide Video Festival (1998) in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Inside Out: New Chinese Art (1998) at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA; 50th Venice Biennale (2003) in Venice, Italy; Guangzhou Triennial, Between Past and Future: New Photography and Video From China (2004) at ICP International Center of Photography, New York, USA; Guangzhou Triennial (2002 and 2005) at the Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China; Seventh Shenzhen Sculpture Biennale (2012), Shenzhen, China; 2013 INK ART: Past as Present in Contemporary China (2013) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA; and The Garden of the Forking Paths—Exploring Independent Animation (2013) at OCT Contemporary Terminal, Shanghai.

Chen’s first solo exhibition, Anti-CSX at Vitamin Creative Space, Guangzhou, China was in 2003. Select solo exhibitions include Ink City: New Works by Chen Shaoxiong (2005) at the Courtyard Annex, Beijing, China; Double Landscape (2005) at Grace Alexander Contemporary Art Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland; Chen Shaoxiong (2007) at Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany; Chen Shaoxiong: Ink Things (2009) and Prepared: Strategies for Activists (2012) at Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, USA; and Air-Dry History (2013) at Pekin Fine Arts, Hong Kong, China.

Recent Responses

Chen shaoxiong photo cropped

Posted on 8 Jul

I think of ourselves as brave, living in the 1990s, fighting against society's mainstream values of the time with our limited individual forces. We were just a small, self-supported group, and yet we were delivering on the whole Guangdong’s regional culture. When I look back, I see a naïve soul in myself, one who is a loner, one who bears pride and eccentricity. Although I must confess I find some of my works of that time a little premature, I treasure their bookishness and the language I developed in them. They were less influenced compared to present works, and thus are free from pleasing motives and trending standards. Moreover, all my present works have their roots in my 90s artworks, from language to concept and from philosophy to media application. On one hand, to an artist, such progress and its extension are indivisible. On the other hand, we live in a time of great changes, and everything in the 90s seem to be so far away.

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I think of ourselves as brave, living in the 1990s, fighting against society's mainstream values of the time with our limited individual forces. We were just a small, self-supported group, and yet we were delivering on the whole Guangdong’s...

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Chen shaoxiong photo cropped

Posted on 8 Jul

我觉得九十年代的我们非常勇敢,能以单薄的个人力量与当时的社会主流价值观相对峙,一个小小的自我组织却干了广东地域文化的大活。现在看那个时候的自己,确是十分单纯,且爱独来独往,骄傲又脱俗。虽然觉得那个时候的作品有些幼稚,但我喜欢那书呆子的气质和自己发展出来的语言,没有像现在有那麽多参照,也就没有那些取悦的动机和时髦的标准。并且,我现在所有的创作,不管从语言到观念,从态度到媒介的运用都是从九十年代的创作中所埋下的种子里生长出来的。作为艺术家,这些发展和延续是难以分割的。另一方面,我们处於一个剧变的时代,九十年代的一切好像已经非常遥远了。

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Discuss (3) Print

我觉得九十年代的我们非常勇敢,能以单薄的个人力量与当时的社会主流价值观相对峙,一个小小的自我组织却干了广东地域文化的大活。现在看那个时候的自己,确是十分单纯,且爱独来独往,骄傲又脱俗。虽然觉得那个时候的作品有些幼稚,但我喜欢那书呆子的气质和自己发展出来的语言,没有像现在有那麽多参照,也就没有那些取悦的动机和时髦的标准。并且,我现在所有的创作,不管从语言到观念,从态度到媒介的运用都是从九十年代的创作中所埋下的种子里生长出来的。作为艺术家,这些发展和延续是难以分割的。另一方面,...

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